Circuses and Misdirection (updated)

It has come to my attention that there’s some kind of gathering going on in Florida. I haven’t bothered paying any attention to it because I assume that nothing of substance will be discussed.

Have I missed anything?

How about the TV news? Are they covering the Caravan for Peace (which is actually relevant) or the nonsense in Florida?

Update: This, from Glenn Greenwald today is particularly relevant:

The reason I write so little about the presidential election is that it’s the ultimate expression of the CNN-ization of American politics: a tawdry, uber-contrived reality show that has less to do with political reality than the average rant one hears at any randomly chosen corner bar or family dinner. That does not mean the outcome is irrelevant, only that the process is suffocatingly dumb and deceitful, generating the desire to turn away and hope that it’s over as quickly as possible. […]

The election process is where American politicians go to be venerated and glorified, all based on trivial personality attributes that have zero relationship to what they do with their power, but which, by design, convinces Americans that they’re blessed to be led by people with such noble and sterling character, no matter how much those political figures shaft them. […]

The election process is where each political party spends hundreds of millions of dollars exploiting the same trivial personality attributes to demonize the other party’s politicians as culturally foreign, all to keep their followers in a high state of fear and thus lock-step loyalty.

It’s the supreme propaganda orgy, devoted to aggressively reinforcing the claim to American exceptionalism: the belief that even when things look grim, America will forever be that special God-favored land of freedom, opportunity, and prosperity, and all citizens should therefore be deeply grateful – quietly and passively so – for the privilege of residing in such a land, no matter how wretched are their circumstances and how pervasive is the corruption.

It’s what inculcates many Americans to believe that they enjoy vibrant political debate and stark democratic choice, even as so many of the policies that are most consequential and destructive for their lives – the “war on drugs”, the supremacy of the covert national security and surveillance states, vast inequalities in the justice system, crony capitalism that rapidly bolsters the oligarchy that owns the political process – are steadfastly ignored because both parties on those matters have exactly the same position and serve the same interests. […]

It’s where the handful of important issues on which there are genuinely sharp and clear differences – social issues, reproductive rights, jurisprudence philosophy, a few social program and tax policies – are endlessly exploited to heighten cultural divisions and, more importantly, to obscure the similarities on everything else.

The election year process could and should be a meaningful opportunity for real political debate: the one time every four years when the majority of the population that is too busy or uninterested to pay much attention becomes engaged and thus informed. Instead, the process is the ultimate deceit. And the ultimate distraction.

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21 Responses to Circuses and Misdirection (updated)

  1. Duncan20903 says:

    Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination. ~~ Mark Twain

  2. allan says:

    debauchery everywhere Pete! snore…

    the snippets I’ve caught are along the lines of Donna Reed and the 700 Club… plus some “it’s the other guys’ fault” rhetoric. So nope, haven’t missed a thing – unless corn syrup and boogers is your thing.

    Not being along the Caravan’s route I haven’t seen a single mention, but then that’s why why god made GoogleNews.

  3. darkcycle says:

    Well, they locked out the Maine delegates for Ron Paul. Then changed the rules of order when the R.P. supporters came up with enough States to force a vote (they just changed the rules to require more states than R.P. had). But other than those shenanigans (which many here predicted, since there was NO WAY they were letting Ron Paul into that convention), nothing worthy of notice. Oh.. there was a hurricane, but it went to New Orleans to punish democrats, instead of sweeping the repubs out to sea. No matter.

    • GOP glad to rid themselves of Ron Paul supporters, the move to Libertarian Party

      • Windy says:

        YOu’d be surprised how many of us are doing just that, for me it is a return, I participated in the GOP caucuses and county conventions in 2008 and 2012 in order to support Ron Paul, but I’m returning to the LP to support Gary Johnson. I believe that with all the RP people who are doing the same, plus the cannabis community and those of us who oppose the WHOLE drug war, the former and current members of the LP and small ell libertarians and all those independents (and even democrats) who cannot stomach either Romney or Obama, Gary could actually win this election. But we definitely need to unite behind him and donate what we can to his campaign (the LP will be out of money to aid his campaign after the ballot access fights in 18 States — two of which were thought to be in the bag but are now fighting a challenge to the LP’s access from Romney’s crew, Oklahoma and Iowa — if you can help in States where access is not yet obtained or is being challenged, please do and donate whatever you are able).

    • Windy says:

      Actually, even after the rule change he STILL had enough States to have earned a nomination from the floor and a 15 minute unedited speech:

      And now the GOP is trying to get Johnson knocked off ballots in States where the LP already met the requirements to be on the ballot:

      Is there no depth of depravity to which the RNC and DNC will not stoop to maintain their monopoly of power?

  4. Dope and Chains says:

    No one will take a “caravan for peace” seriously.

  5. CJ says:

    why did that dope and chains guy say that about the caravan?

    btw otto perez molina broke my heart man…seriously… i had to take down a bunch of posters from my wall and jeez im glad i didnt get that tatoo. but seriously i am heartbroken it is … …………………. jeez i just dont even know what to say… im so hurt by his treachery i am afraid todays glorious moments of injections (At the various hours of the daily routine) may have all been buzz killed after finding out about his true intentions with the call for legalization… what a stupid idiot i am for buying what he was selling its hard enough buying my daily dose in this world of prohibition where the wop is 70-150 dollars and the bag 7-20 and god even 25 sometimes but holy lord of the poppy why did this happen… why WHY to quoth the Kurtz of Lord of Darkness “THE HORROR! THE HORROR!”

    • claygooding says:

      CJ,we already discussed that Molina was playing poker with his bid to legalize drugs when he said it,,he threatened legalization and the US sent millions,,,simply a bluff.

    • SCOOBY says:

      Don’t feel too bad CJ, I bought into it also on top of the charlatan in chief’s mouth full of lies in the 2008 elections. You know how it goes fool me once, fool me twice.

  6. Francis says:

    Here’s a quick recap. A bunch of pro-drug war, pro-Patriot Act, pro-bailouts, pro-endless military adventurism corporatist hacks from the corrupt GOP establishment got up and talked about their supposed commitment to “freedom.” There was one candidate who actually believed in the principles of freedom. The establishment systematically changed the rules (or simply ignored them) in order to deny him a chance at the nomination, or even an opportunity to speak at the convention. Then they played him a “tribute video” (which conveniently ignored his stances on foreign policy and the drug war, two of his signature issues). This exercise in American democracy will cost taxpayers about $68 million (plus interest costs since we’ll need to borrow that money). Is it too early in the day to start drinking?

    • SCOOBY says:

      NO !!!!!!……but forget about alcohol. I suggest some other that shows support for the crusade against these fucking ass clowns.

  7. ezrydn says:

    This campaign has been interesting, to say the least. I’ve followed the GOP Convention, just as I will the Demo Convention. Some great lines have been spoken. I only hope Ryan mentions Biden’s CSA affair in their debate. One can hope.

    The Dems have nothing to talk about, really. Nothing is their faults. Everything’s great. Gonna get better. ROAD APPLES! And I voted for him…once!

    With the condition of the country right now, we must double our efforts and attacks on whomever is in office, plain and simple. We’re not fighting people. We’re fighting an insane legislative Act! THAT is our true objective.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      I’d like to figure out a way to educate people about the Electoral College and how it works. In 2008 over 1/2 a million Maryland voters could have voted (fill in 3rd party) instead of Mr. Obama without affecting the outcome. The lesser of two evils strategy is fear based and I doubt that we’d ever convince the voters of whichever State to cast for a 3rd party because they’re terrified that either Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney will be elected. Since it’s a pretty good bet that one or the other will be POTUS in 2013 the only realistic way to get people to send a message to the politicians is to concentrate on the voters of the States which are slam dunk red or blue. Oh well, I can dream can’t I?

      You’re vote might actually make a difference in a State like Colorado but in Maryland all a vote for Mr. Obama does is increase his perception of a “mandate” from the voters.

      But on the subject of my vote, don’t anyone dare to say that my vote for Gary Johnson belongs to anyone but Mr. Johnson. I’d skip voting before I’d cast for either Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney.

      The first time I heard the “lesser of two evils” argument was in 1972. Of course that was the year that more than 60% of the American voters decided that Dick Nixon and Spiro Agnew should be POTUS and Veep. The only Presidential administration with both office holders being run out of town for being criminals. Hell, they were even both working individually. I guess I think that’s worse than if they had been conspiring together. Sometimes I really wish I could see the alternate time line that unfolded had the voters of 1972 elected George McGovern. Life would be very different I’m sure.

      Apparently the State of California has quietly defunded the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research. From Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (no fooling):

      Also this summer, California ended state funding for the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR), which spent $8.7 million since 2000 for preclinical and clinical studies assessing the therapeutic value of marijuana. linky

  8. War Vet says:

    That’s why every U.S. soldier has died and served for nothing . . . from those in D-Day to Bunker Hill. If our Forefathers knew what we have become, they wouldn’t have bothered signing any declaration or sending innocent lives to be killed by the Brits. A Trojan condom ad has more significance than our flag. God I hope this nation turns around. 9/11 was about drugs and so was Iraq and Afghanistan . . . keep kids off drugs and later when they are 18 and 30 yrs old, let’s kill them for drugs.

  9. says:

    I do trust all the concepts you’ve presented in your post. They are very convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are very quick for starters. May you please extend them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

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